Start the holidays with food safety
Posted on: November 26, 2018
Festive family meals are highlights of the holiday season. Lorain County Public Health Commissioner, David Covell, RS, MPH, states, “With all of the holiday hustle, people often forget the effects of not preparing food safely. Getting sick from food is not a joyous experience at this time of year, so remember to practice food safety.”
Holiday Food Safety Tips:
- Clean - Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food. Wash food contact surfaces such as cutting boards, dishes, and utensils after preparing each food item. Do NOT rinse raw meat and poultry before cooking to avoid splashing bacteria.
- Separate - Keep utensils and cutting boards used for cooked foods and raw foods separate. Do not put ready-to-eat food on an unwashed plate that has held any raw eggs, meat, seafood, or their juices.
- Cook - Cook foods, especially meat, to the right temperature. Use a food thermometer to make sure foods are cooked to a safe temperature, since a food’s color doesn’t reliably tell you if it’s been thoroughly cooked.
- Chill - Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Chill foods soon after serving and when traveling to a holiday party.
Avoid holiday NO-NOs:
- Never thaw perishable foods on the counter - bacteria grow quickly at room temperature, so thaw food in the fridge.
- Cook eggs thoroughly - even grade A eggs with clean, uncracked shells can contain harmful bacteria.
- Always refrigerate pumpkin pie, custard pies and cheesecakes - don’t leave them unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours.